Irvine, Calif. (FOX 11) -
A Seal Beach woman accused of setting up a fake animal rescue and selling sick puppies has been arrested.
On Wednesday the Irvine Police arrested Megan Ann Hoechstetter on multiple felony charges related to crimes against animals.
Investigators tell FOX 11 she was arrested after selling a sick puppy that died a week after it was purchased by an Orange County family. They believe Hoechstetter obtained the animals from Mexico, did not give them proper healthcare and would sell them through a fake rescue organization called Pawlosophy according to Irvine Police.
Nineteen puppies were rescued after she was arrested at a hotel in Cypress.
All of the animals were taken to the Irvine Animal Care Center. They are currently not available for adoption because of their age and fragile health.
The Irvine Police Department Animal Services Unit reminds residents to use caution when purchasing or rescuing an animal. Follow these guidelines:
*Be cautious of groups or organizations who only communicate with you online.
*Reputable rescue organizations will always want to visit your home for an inspection; be wary of anyone who wants to meet you in a parking lot or other public place.
*Always request to see veterinary records for the animal you wish to adopt. Make sure the puppy is current on vaccinations and has been examined by a state-licensed veterinarian. Additionally, make sure the paperwork you are shown matches the animal you are adopting.
*Never buy a puppy who is advertised as “saved from another country.”
*Watch out for organizations that request extra donations that weren’t initially disclosed.
*Don’t buy or rescue a puppy younger than 8 weeks old.
*Consider adopting from a local animal shelter, such as the Irvine Animal Care Center, or a humane society. Such agencies are required to provide medical attention and veterinary care for their animals.
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